Warsaw Pact Force Modernization: A Second Look
Calculations by Western analysts of the balance of conventional land power between North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact should include a better understanding of the real capabilities of the non-Soviet Warsaw Pact armies as distinct from Soviet forces as demonstrated by actual force structure and equipment inventories. The Polish People’s Army is the largest and potentially the most important national army in the pact. Its thirteen armored and mechanized divisions and its highly specialized airborne and sea landing divisions represent a potential first echelon Front. Polish military doctrine stresses coalition warfare within the pact and the need to insure that any war is fought on NATO territory. Polish mechanized and armored divisions, like their Soviet counterparts, were organized during the early 1960s to carry out this doctrine. Mechanized divisions, with wartime strengths of around 11,000 men, have three mechanized regiments, a tank regiment, an artillery regiment, and an air defense regiment.